Florida Man Caught on Camera Coughing on Police Officers During Arrest: 'I Hope You Catch Corona'

A Florida man intentionally coughed on police officers and said "I hope you catch corona" as he was arrested for allegedly threatening his mother with a knife, authorities said.

Brent Smith, 46, was intoxicated when he returned to the home he shares with his mother in DeLand, Florida, on Saturday evening, the Volusia Sheriff's Office said in a news release.

An argument ensued and Smith shoved his mother several times while screaming at her and calling her "obscene names," the sheriff's office said. The sheriff's office said Smith then grabbed a butter knife and threatened her, saying: "I will kill you."

When his mother called for help, Smith allegedly snatched her cell phone and was still holding it when deputies arrived at the scene, the sheriff's office added.

As Smith was being taken into custody, he began arguing with the deputies detaining him and threatened to hit one in the head with a hammer.

Body camera footage shows Smith coughing repeatedly in their direction and making threats, including saying he would "bash your f***ing brains in." One of the deputies is seen putting on latex gloves before searching Smith and placing him in the back seat of a patrol car.

While in the backseat, Smith again coughed and blew on deputies, the sheriff's office said.

The body camera footage also caught him telling one officer: "I hope you die. I hope you catch corona. I hope the coronavirus... I hope it latches on to you."

Smith was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated battery on a person 65 or older, tampering with a witness, robbery by sudden snatching and grand theft.

He was also charged with threatening and assaulting a law enforcement officer, corruption by threat against a public official and violation of probation on an original charge of aggravated battery on a pregnant person.

He was transported to the Volusia County Branch Jail, where he is currently being held without bond.

Florida has more than 20,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, and 470 deaths, according to the latest figures from the Florida Department of Health.

Brent Smith
Brent Smith, 46, of DeLand, was captured on body camera footage coughing on officers as he was arrested for allegedly threatening his mother with a knife. Volusia Sheriff's Office

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advice on Using Face Coverings to Slow Spread of COVID-19

  • CDC recommends wearing a cloth face covering in public where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  • A simple cloth face covering can help slow the spread of the virus by those infected and by those who do not exhibit symptoms.
  • Cloth face coverings can be fashioned from household items. Guides are offered by the CDC. (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html)
  • Cloth face coverings should be washed regularly. A washing machine will suffice.
  • Practice safe removal of face coverings by not touching eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash hands immediately after removing the covering.

World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Hygiene advice

  • Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before, during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.
  • Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.

Medical advice

  • Avoid close contact with others if you have any symptoms.
  • Stay at home if you feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and runny nose, to avoid potential spread of the disease to medical facilities and other people.
  • If you develop serious symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and contact local health authorities in advance.
  • Note any recent contact with others and travel details to provide to authorities who can trace and prevent spread of the disease.
  • Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.

Mask and glove usage

  • Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
  • Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
  • Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks. Clean hands after disposing of the mask.
  • Do not reuse single-use masks.
  • Regularly washing bare hands is more effective against catching COVID-19 than wearing rubber gloves.
  • The COVID-19 virus can still be picked up on rubber gloves and transmitted by touching your face.